Breakfast with Boethius (Book 4)

Get the bacon and eggs and coffee ready: Boethius is back to lay down some philosophy. This time, the selections come from Book 4 of Consolation of Philosophy.

For since good and evil are opposite, if goodness is agreed to be powerful, then the weakness of evil is obvious, and if the fragility of evil is manifest, the strength of good is manifest.

From this it is clear that goodness always produces rewards and that wickedness always brings it’s own punishment. For we can see with certainty that the purpose behind every deed is the reward for that deed, just as the garland that runners seek is the prize for running.

And so it happens that a man who abandons virtue, since he can’t become godlike, turns into a beast.

For if it is miserable to want to do evil, it is more miserable to be able to do it, since without the accomplishment of evil, the miserable will has no effect.

Men cannot lift their eyes, which are accustomed to darkness, to look at the bright light of truth.

If wickedness is a sort of disease of the soul, just as weakness is a disease of the body, when we consider those sick in body as not at all worthy of hatred but rather pity, we should all the more pity and not attack those whose minds are oppressed by a wickedness more cruel than any physical weakness.

But make sure we don’t do something completely illogical by following the opinion of the people.

You have in your hands the ability to create the kind of fortune you want; for every fortune that seems harsh, unless it tests or corrects a man, punishes him.


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